© 2019 Tapestry, Annual TAMUK Women & Gender Studies Journal

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Layla Tejada

Rebecca Williams

            Growing up, we all want a person to look up to. We look for people who motivate us to do better and inspires us in some special way. Personally, my mother is the person in my life who inspires me most. Personally, my mother

is the person in my life who inspires me most. I will be discussing how my mother is an inspirational person to me. My mom, known as Rebecca Ruiz Williams, was born on June 6, 1976. She was born in Southfield, Michigan. She has two younger siblings, Caraugh and Loren. Caraugh was a year younger than her and Loren was the baby boy of the family. My mom describes not being able to relate to Loren, because he was seven years 

younger than my mom. She said, “It sounds bad, but since Uncle Loren was so young, me and your aunt never really considered him as our brother. It was more of us having to babysit him when our parents asked” (Williams). She felt as if they did not really grow up together because of the age gap (Williams).

 

            Her mother, Kathleen Ruiz, is from Michigan and her father Gilbert Ruiz, is from San Antonio, Texas. My grandma was attending college in Michigan, but then had to drop out due to becoming pregnant with my mom. Her mother worked for the social security administration and her father worked for the government. She stated that “since Grampa was in the military, we moved around from place to place, but it was

uncommon” (Williams). My mom lived in several places growing up, including Chicago, Virginia, and Michigan but was raised in Southfield, Michigan (Williams).

            My mom describes her childhood as being chaotic.  Her dad was an alcoholic and became very violent and abusive to her mom and the kids. Her dad was in college, while her mom worked so her and her siblings had many different baby sitters throughout their childhood. My mom told me how she would always get blamed for what her siblings did. She says, “I used to get my ass whooped for everything, even if I wasn’t the one to do it. Caraugh and Loren got away with so much” (Williams). If her younger sister got in trouble at school, my grandpa would come home, and punish her because she should have been keeping her younger sister in line. Loren, her little brother, used to sleep with a bat next to his bed whenever their dad would come home drunk (Williams).

            My mom walked to and from school every day, although there was a school bus that could pick her up. She was always in sports as a child. She said that her father originally wanted sons instead of daughters, so he would dress my mom and her sister in boy clothes such as long flannels and hiking boots. She said “Your grandpa used to dress me and Caraugh like little twin boys and we hated it!” (Williams). Her mom hated dealing with the maintenance of the girl’s long hair, so she also cut their hair off to look like little boys (Williams). When she was in elementary school, she lived with her grandma, and then later moved to a trailer park in Michigan when she got to middle school. She had to share a room with her sister, Caraugh, and they each had a twin bed. She loved to play with Barbies, board games, and her favorite Cabbage Patch Kid toy. She was always playing outside with her siblings, because back then they did not have video games and rarely watched television. My grandmother put her in Girl Scouts, but she was made fun of as a child because she was chubby, and she looked like a boy (Williams).

            Some of her favorite childhood memories included celebrating holidays with her family. Her aunts would also throw a barbeque party at their house during the summer and host a scavenger hunt for all the children to participate in. Her cousins would all work as a team to figure out the clues in order to find the treasure chest, which had plenty of cool prizes according to my mom (Williams).

            My mom described her family’s state as low income. Every month, her family would wait in line for “government cheese” which also would come with bread and eggs for families who could not always afford it. They would eat spam and eggs for breakfast and my mom said she hated it. That was just the way it was for her family. Overall, she stated that she enjoyed school (Williams).

            She told me a story about one time when she had ripped her pants because a little boy had pushed her, and she fell. She mentioned her father getting a call from the school about the incident, and he drove up to the school and demanded to speak to the principal and even threatened to call the superintendent. He was always having to go up to their school because of her younger sister always getting into all kinds of trouble. My mom was the only girl in the Gifted and Talented program, and she was often talked down on by the other boys in the group. In middle school, she won the state GT competition, known as “Odyssey of the Mind”. She did well in other academic courses as well (Williams).

            My mother was an all A student up until tenth grade. She loved reading books as a child, but eventually outgrew reading in high school. She was fourteen when she got her first job as a waitress at her best friends’ family’s café. She graduated high school in 1994. She wanted her career to be an international business person, but only because it sounded impressive. She said, “Honestly, it just sounded fancy. I don’t really remember why I wanted to go that route” (Williams). Unfortunately, she was unable to pursue that career, because she never finished her degree.

            My mom said she was very scared when she had me. She says, “I felt scared because you were an unexpected semi-emergency C-section. I started crying because I could not hold you right away” (Williams). My mom wants me to pursue any dream or goal that I want, no matter what. She does not want me to be fearful of the future, and to believe in myself. She was very excited about me attending a university, and supportive of all my decisions. She is hopeful that I can accomplish anything and wants me to thrive in life (Williams).

            My mom is my biggest inspiration, because she is such a role model for my sisters and me to follow.

My mom has always been there for me, no matter what the case was. Every time that I feel like giving up, whether it be the stress from school or just life in general, I always think about my mom. She has been through a lot throughout her life, and still manages to get up every day and take care of what she needs to. Having to raise three kids as a single parent is never easy, but of course she made it work. I have her to thank for my success, because she inspires me to go out and make the most of each day.